Another thing I have a lot of in the house is cotton wool: I overstocked when expecting PD and am still wading my way through it. It’s proving very useful for various craft projects. And tissues? Well they get everwhere. PD seems to have an obsession with carrying them around” in case she gets snot” so there are always half a dozen under the furniture or in various pockets. So what can you do with them? here are ten ideas to get you started.
- Splat painting: dip your cotton wool balls and screwed up tissues in to paint and then drop or throw them onto your paper. You could remove them once you’ve made a splat, or leave them to create a brilliant 3D work of art. This works particularly well if you use neon/glow paint on black paper.
- Soap mud: I took a leaf out of Imagination Tree’s book and made this bubbly gloopy mess. The girls loved it.
- Flowers: gather a tissue in the middle, and then wrap a pipe-cleaner or bendy straw around the base to create a simple flower. Bunch together a good number to create a simple play bouquet, or vase of flowers for play tea.
- Pop Game: using a roll of sellotape or duct tape, teach your baby/toddler to push cotton wool balls into the centre of the roll, then use your finger to push them out again. This kept my daughter entertained for a whole afternoon one wet winter day.
- Bugs and butterflies: use cotton wool to form the body of an imaginary bug, then decorate with googly eyes, wings and other bits of glittery paper. Likewise you can use markers on tissue (I found kitchen roll to be better at this as it is stronger) to make pretty patterned wings, even spraying them with water to blur the colours together. Once dry, pinch in the middle and use pipe-cleaners or pegs to form the body of your butterfly.
- Old frame: instead of conventional papier-mâché, you could make use tissue and bits of cotton wool soaked in glue to make an ‘old’ frame from a cheap picture frame. Leave to dry and then paint for a super present for grandparents!
- Hula skirt: to make a simple lei-type necklace, use a needle to thread cotton wool balls onto thread, and knotting the loose ends together. You could intersperse the cotton wool balls with cotton wool pads. For a hula skirt, tear tissue into strips and glue to ribbon the tie the loose ends. It won’t last forever but it’ll be lots of fun whilst it does, and you can shove it in the recycling when you’re done!
- Fiesta Bunting: again this will work better with kitchen roll. Take a length of kitchen roll, or tissues taped together lengthways to form a long strip. In 1 inch segments, tear the tissue across the short length to approximately 3/4 of the way up until you have a long fringe, then hang across your room for a festive South American look. You can also make pom-pom bunting by threading cotton wool balls onto cotton using a needle. Leave gaps between the pompoms, or cluster close together, as you wish.
- Beard & wig: cut a rough wig shape from card or paper and glue on cotton wool balls and paint as you wish. Secure to ears with pipe cleaners. For a wig, cut a strip of card or paper to go around your child’s head then fix in place with tape or staples. Glue strips of tissue to the card to create hair; you can glue tissue from one side to the other across the top of the head to create the crown.
- Sheep/cloud: dip your cotton wool in white or grey paint, and print onto blank paper in a circle. Fill in the circle to create a cloud shape, or add asmaller circle and legs to give a sweet simple sheep.
Now go and see what you can make with bits and pieces you have lying around at home.